Traditional art and Contemporary design
A sign painter usually practices drawing letters for a long time. This is usually accompanied by a study of the geometry of Roman letter forms.
Brush control must be learned, beginning with simple strokes before moving on to forming complete letters.
The computer is a useful tool for the traditional artist too. It is a great time saver for composing the copy and plotting the finished design onto paper, before tracing or pouncing onto the surface to be painted.
Sign painters know when to use a Display Alphabet or a Copy Alphabet in their designs. Display is for company names, logos etc. Copy is for blocks of text and more general information.
The fonts offered in computer software packages lack much of the character found in hand drawn fonts.
Sign painters learn rules of composition, colour use and gain at least some knowledge of advertising psychology.
Furthermore we need to interpret the copy correctly and prioritise the main message in the dominant area of the composition. Appropriate fonts and graphics are then chosen to reinforce the message.
It is a vocation and the learning never really ends.